Dan “Wretchy” Martin, a professional poker player originally from Oregon, was recently given a lifetime ban from the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas for smoking weed in his car in the casino parking lot.
Two Plus Two has hundreds of posts about the incident from players who feel that such severe punishment was unwarranted as Martin was accused of a victimless crime, as well as many posters who point out that the Venetian has every right to exercise control over anyone doing something illegal on their property. The ensuing aftermath has many in support of Martin starting a Free Wretchy movement to allow the pot-smoking pro to be allowed access to the Venetian poker room once again.
This is not the first time that Martin has been banned from playing poker. In 2009, he received a three-month ban from PokerStars for playing at the site under two separate names–“Wretchy” and “WhatsLogic.” Martin admitted to playing in the same tournaments as his girlfriend on 45 occasions, about nine of those times from the same IP address, with the two screen names. His offense was described as multi-accounting, although many in the industry would deem it more along the lines of collusion. Martin explained at the time that he used one screen name for cash games and the other for tournaments, which many players seemingly had done. Martin compared his online behavior to pot-smoking when he said on a Pocket Fives poker forum after the first incident, “I don’t understand what I need to apologize for. I feel that having a cash game account is sorta the same thing as smoking weed. Everyone knows that it’s illegal and yet its a common thing.”
At the time, many players supported Martin, while others demanded an apology and labelled him a cheater. The whole incident was an eye-opening experience for Martin, as he stated at the time, “I do feel that I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people because of this issue. To those of you that turned your back to me, stay turned away. To those that supported me, thank you.”
Three years later, and Wretchy is once again in a situation where people will either support him or turn the other way. Its true that he was harming no one by sitting in his car and smoking a blunt by himself while on a break from a tournament. There was no alleged cheating as in the online incident that he felt required no apology.
Martin explained what happened at the Venetian on Two Plus Two, saying, “Basically I was in my car, by myself, windows up and got blind-sighted by a dickhead low security guy. I didn’t have music on loud, I didn’t have windows open, or anything. Absurd fluke that I was caught. So my best advice is just don’t smoke there. It really blows to be banned from a place that I really enjoy playing at for something like this… I hope everyone can learn something from this though and just not smoke at Venetian… It’s just not worth it.”
So in the span of three years, Martin has learned two valuable lessons. That multiple accounts at online sites are against the stated terms of service and that smoking weed in your car in the parking lot of a casino is a no-no. He has won more than $1.5 million in online tournament play at PokerStars, so at least his decisions at the poker table are right on the money. Which certainly doesn’t seem true regarding common sense used in other situations. “WhatsLogic” indeed.
Martin is apparently the sort of pro that poker Hall-of-famer Mike Sexton had in mind a couple of months ago when Sexton said that “players need to realize that their actions and/or behavior have a ripple down effect on the entire industry.” Martin continues to give poker a bad name through his behavior that he feels everyone else is doing. After the weed-smoking incident, Martin tweeted, “It was my first time in handcuffs… Wasn’t very cool.” Let’s hope there are no more incidents requiring handcuffs in this talented pro’s future despite his questionable logic and reasoning away from the poker table.
Maybe the next time Martin gets stoned and the mood hits him to go to the casino he’ll decide to find an online casino, like one of the ones listed on Casinoreef.com.au and play from home instead.